Class Notes: "Environmental Communication" with Professor DeLaure

Registration for Spring 2013 is almost upon us! You have hopefully been busy perusing our Communication Studies class schedule. Try to tear yourself away for a few moments to read about one of our new courses: COMS 490: Environmental Communication. I asked Professor DeLaure to share some information about what you can expect from the course:

“Next spring, I’m teaching a brand new course, “Environmental Communication.”  This is a upper division course that counts towards the COMS major, and also toward the Environmental Studies major.  (Pre-reqs are COMS 202, or ENVA major.)

This class examines how communication shapes our understandings of and interactions with the environment.  Over the course of the semester, we’ll address the following questions: How do we define “environment” and distinguish between “nature” and “culture”?  What are common rhetorical appeals deployed in discourse about the environment?  How do images and other visual modes of communication shape perceptions of the environment?  How do scientists, environmentalists, elected officials, and ordinary citizens deliberate over environmental issues, and how do the media frame these debates?  What are some of the challenges posed by miscommunication about environmental issues?  And how can you communicate effectively about the environment as a student, citizen, and activist?  Through our collaborative exploration of these and other questions, you will expand your awareness of environmental issues, become a savvier critic of environmental messages, improve your advocacy skills and, hopefully, deepen your sense of engagement as a global environmental citizen.

If you choose to enroll in Environmental Communication, you will read, discuss, monitor media coverage of environmental issues, write a book review, and also a critical analysis essay.  You will also have the opportunity to create a portfolio of applied communication materials for a real-world context.  For a non-profit organization, you might draft a fundraising letter, a grant application, and design some webpage copy.  Or, for an educational institution, you might develop a lesson plan and accompanying materials for teaching a target audience about a specific environmental topic.  Or, for a public campaign, you might create a range of materials (mailers, press releases, op-ed pieces, a speech, a social-media plan) to promote participation, encourage voting, or elicit a change of behavior.  Students will find or be paired with a Bay Area organization doing environmental work; at the end of the term, students will deliver their materials to that organization for possible use, and will also present their work to the class.”

Remember, COMS 490: Environmental Communication is an upper-division Communication Studies major course and also counts towards the Environmental Studies major. Thanks Professor DeLaure!

Dons' Doings: Lambda Pi Eta fundraiser at Pasta Pomodoro!

Those of you familiar with this blog or me know that one of the events I most look forward to each semester is our Chevy’s Night fundraiser for Lambda Pi Eta. I don’t know what that says about me that it is one of the highlights of the semester, but it’s true… I LOVE Chevy’s Night! Not just for the food (yum), but also for the socializing with our Communication Studies students and alums! Well, I’m sad to say that the Chevy’s where we have held our fundraiser for the last six years or so closed, but I’m very happy to report that we will now be holding our fundraiser at PASTA POMODORO (or, as Professor Ho said before she was corrected by our resident Italian, Professor Jacquemet, Pasta PomoDERO)!

Pizza, pasta, salads, sides = Yummy. No, = DOUBLE YUMMY!

So, here is the deal: All day tomorrow, Thursday October 18th, if you go to the Pasta Pomodoro Restaurant in Laurel Village (3611 California Street) and present our Lambda Pi Eta flyer, Pasta Pomodoro will donate 20% of your bill to Lambda Pi Eta! It’s as easy as that! You can dine in or take out, all day! You could even go there for lunch, go back again for dinner, and then order take out lunch for the next day! Ooooohhhh… I might do that.

Everyone is invited… friends, significant others, family, roommates! The more people who come, the more money Lambda Pi Eta makes! Lambda Pi Eta sponsors events throughout the year that are open to all Communication Studies majors, so even if you are not a member, you benefit from the activities of the club, and we would really appreciate your support!

I’m hoping to see many students and hopefully some alums join us tomorrow at Pasta Pomodoro! Here’s the flyer you need, or you can pick up a hard copy in the main Communication Studies office, KA 313. CIAO!!


New Student Chronicles: Nicole Sanabria

As our dedicated readers may remember, each semester I ask new students to serve as guest bloggers to chronicle their first semester here at USF in the Communication Studies Department. Today I’m excited today to feature one of our new student guest bloggers, Nicole Sanabria! Let’s hear from her…

“Hi everyone! My name is Nicole Sanabria and I am a freshman at the University of San Francisco. I hail from sunny SoCal! I still remember all too clearly leaving my house in Upland, CA with the thermometer in the car reading: 98°F. When we were driving into the city, I just remember watching the temperature drop from mid-70s to high-50s. My immediate reaction was one of worry and surprise. I knew it was going to be cold, but I was not prepared for temperatures that I experienced only a couple of weeks out of the winter. I can definitely say that I have come to love SF weather though!

New COMS major Nicole!

I had visited the campus the summer before my senior year of high school so I vaguely remembered it, but on move-in day the reality of it really hit me. It was everything that I was looking for!  It still had a college vibe, but it was modern and urban; I did not feel like I had been dropped off in the middle of nowhere. I realized that I would be living here for the next year and I was genuinely excited to experience this new phase of my life. I knew that I had made the right choice to attend USF. I couldn’t picture a better school and city that would allow me to question, grow, and become more independent and secure with myself.

As excited as I was to be here, I still had the classic worries of any freshman. I was excited and nervous about being away from home and about having to rely on myself for everything. Thankfully, I quickly become great friends with some of the girls on my floor and they have proven to be my support system here in San Francisco. They are becoming such a part of me, much the same way that the city is becoming a part of me. I now feel like a native and not a tourist navigating the Muni which gives me a sense of pride. I love knowing all the possible routes to take and the connections to make. I’m not going to lie though, Google maps can only help so much! I have been surprised to find that I have a pretty decent sense of direction!

Nicole and her friends navigating muni

The weekends are always the highlight because there is always some exploratory journey to go on. All the neighborhoods are so diverse, eccentric, and entertaining that you can always find something going on. Some of my favorites have been the Greek Food Festival that we found in the Mission where I ate way too much baklava, and uber-hip Dolores Park. Of course, there is always the joy of Union Square and all the shopping that always leads to buyer’s remorse! I love seeing the distinct changes from one district of the city to an entirely different one. It’s one of the reasons why I am coming to love the city so much!


I could not feel any happier or secure with my decision to come to San Francisco and I can honestly see myself forming a life here!”

Thanks, Nicole! We are so glad to hear that you are enjoying your first semester here at USF! We’ll check in with Nicole later in the semester…

Do you have any advice for Nicole and our other new students? Comment back and share your wisdom!


Dons' Doings: Pizza with the Profs this Thursday October 4th!

We have a busy week of activities in the Communication Studies Department! Tomorrow, Thursday October 4th is our Fourth Annual Pizza with the Profs, an informal get together between our Communication Studies faculty and our majors!

Come join us tomorrow, October 4th, 11:45-12:45 (deadhour) in the Kalmanovitz Hall third floor hallway between offices 340 and 342 for free pizza and drinks! Get to know your professors and other Communication Studies majors! All Communication Studies majors are invited, and we especially encourage new students to attend!

Thanks to a technology fail, I can’t post the super awesome flyers featuring a bobble-head Professor Ho, but I hope you have seen them around the department!

This event is sponsored by the Communication Studies Department and Lambda Pi Eta. We hope to see you there!!


Dons' Doings: Debate Watch tomorrow, October 3rd!

Tomorrow, Wednesday October 3rd is the first presidential debate of the 2012 election! What’s better than watching Obama and Romney debate each other in the comforts of your own home? Watching Obama and Romney debate each other with your fellow USF students under the guidance of Rhetoric Professor Extraordinaire, Professor Sery! Here’s the info from Professor Sery himself:

“Who: Presidential Candidate, me, and ravenous undergraduates looking to feast on political intrigue

What: Presidential Debate Watch on Domestic Policy

Where: Cowell Hall Room 106

When: 6:00-7:30 pm, with a discussion to follow

Why: Because I like politics and theater, and this is a good bit of both”


Just to be clear, you will be feasting on political intrigue, not anything else! But shouldn’t the political intrigue make you feel full enough? Professor Sery will be hosting another Debate Watch, with details to come.